Liquid win regional derby against Evil Geniuses to secure playoff appearance
Liquid booked a ticket to the playoffs by beating Evil Geniuses in the IEM Katowice Group B upper bracket sem-final. The North American derby was a heated one because of the regional rivalry between the two top sides, but also because Chet "Chet" Singh hyped his team up before the match by saying they were favorites.
A perfect execution by Liquid on Overpass kicked off the match, and equally effective play gave Nick "nitr0" Cannella and company a 6-0 lead on the T-side. Doubles by Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov and Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte put a stop to Liquid’s transgressions and the balances tipped in favor of Evil Geniuses late in the half as they won six out of the last nine rounds in the half to bring it back to 6-9 before switching sides.
An incredible triple by Jake "Stewie2K" Yip with two more frags by Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken in an A defense in pistol round put Liquid on double digits, propelling them to win their map pick amply as Evil Geniuses only managed to win one round before faltering 7-16.
Evil Geniuses took the lead on the attack on Nuke, but failing to defend a 3vs4 on B in the first gun round they let Liquid get into the match and take a 4-3 lead early on. With Keith "NAF" Markovic leading the way on defense he and his squad started to run away with it as EG could only pick up stray rounds. Up 9-4 Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski won a 1vs1 against CeRq to hit double digits before Twistzz and Stewie2K won a 2vs2 afterplant situation to make it 11-4.
The pace changed when Evil Geniuses got on the CT side. After winning the pistol round they followed it up with an anti-eco before going on to win against Liquid’s first buy. EG quickly found themselves one round behind, 10-11, before Liquid could tally their first round of the half with a play towards the lower site. They tried to replicate but to no avail, and Evil Geniuses once again went back to winning ways.
Liquid kept running against a wall in lower as the map settled at 12-12 before finding a solution to hitting the B site to keep their lead. A double in the vent ladder by CeRq, hitting two no-scopes, stopped Liquid from hitting match point and tied it up once again at 14-14. Tarik "tarik" Celik took three down on ramp to usher Evil Geniuses onto match point, but EG were unable to close the map out as it went into overtime.
Evil Geniuses dominated the first round of overtime, shifting gears and taking the three CT rounds before shutting Liquid out on the attacking side to make it 4-0 in the overtime and 19-15 in the map.
Evil Geniuses won a B retake in the first round of Inferno, but Liquid turned it around on the forcebuy and took an early lead by round three. CeRq was at the helm in EG’s early comeback as they retook the lead, 4-3. They were unable to keep the momentum going as Liquid managed to win the half on the offense, 9-6.
Liquid sandwiched Evil Geniuses in the second pistol round as the Terrorists walked into a four-way crossfire in mid to win it. nitr0 and company lost the third round with SMGs but once parity was established as far as weaponry goes it was Liquid who set the pace on the defense to close the map and series out, 16-10.
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|72 - 45||+27||93.3||1.36|
|55 - 51||+4||77.9||1.08|
|52 - 46||+6||75.9||1.08|
|56 - 54||+2||67.2||1.08|
|50 - 52||-2||64.6||1.06|